Reply To: 9 year old ODD is getting the best of me

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I haven’t managed to read all the posts so apologies if I am repeating what others have said. I had terrible trouble with my son at about the same age agressive behaviour, arguing black is white just for the sake of it. He is now 12 and much calmer and pleasant. It’s difficult to know what made the difference but he now says that he didn’t feel loved or cared for and he didn’t feel as though he was listened to. I found it helped and still helps to go overboard with praise and reassurance. I tell him how much I love him and what a proud Mum i am. I pick on characteristics that i can praise ” your hugs make me happy”, ” you have a lovely smile”, “the dog adores you he doesn’t greet me like that” Ok so i stretch the truth sometimes but it was all about raising self esteem. Special time when we did stuff just the two of us together helps but I found I had to tell him that this was our special time and not just a routine job that i had to do “i love walking home from school with you it gives us time to chat without being interupted” I sit and watch his Tv choice with him, he didn’t want me to learn about his computer games, it was too complicated to teach me but he is happy with me nodding and giving affirmation when he is talking at me about them. His certificates are proudly displayed on the fridge so that family and friends can comment on them. Others such as teachers and other adults giving positive feedback is really, really helpful too.

Keeping a diary identifying what happened before an incident eg environment, activity what happened during it and afterwards can help identify if there is a pattern to behaviours and triggers. It might also help you to recognise a meltdown brewing. I hadn’t realised how sensitive my child was to sensory experiences such as noise and crowds so i’d take him to carnivals and celebrations etc which I now know he hates before I thought he was just ruining things.

Giving additional responsibilities helped such as feeding the dog that he get lots of positive feed back from helped as well as giving closed choices ie what would you like, this? or the other? bath or shower? pasta or potatos? go to bed or clean the kitchen? which makes him feel more in control of his life.

I also ensure that he knows that I am listening to him and giving his problems my careful consideration. Sometimes I can’t make things better but just listening and acknowledging how frustrating, challenging things can be diffuses the situation. I also tell him when things don’t go right for me and what strategies I use as otherwise he just assumes that everything went well for me.

Obviously I was shocked when I learnt that he felt unloved etc. I was working really hard to get support in school for him and meet his needs at home. We have always had plenty of cuddles, he was always my velcro baby I couldn’t put him down and I have always played with him and read stories but he needs +++++ reassurance.

I hope my experience is of some help, and just remember we lash out at the people we love most.

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by lizslocombe1.